Thursday, January 19, 2012

Glassco's Villanelle - some additional thoughts

The quote that I mentioned during our discussion of Villanelle is from Donne’s “The Ecstasy”:

    Love’s mysteries in souls do grow,
    But yet the body is his book.

After rereading Donne’s poem this evening, I think it is a very clever seduction poem.  I think that Glassco’s poem may be a dialog between a body and its soul about the causes of loneliness, but not a body and soul that are two totally distinct entities. The poem asks two unanswerable questions. It would be interesting to know the context of quote, or paraphrase, from St. Augustine.  I couldn’t find it even in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

1 comment:

Tim said...

The poem is haunting and I would have less fear of its being a will-o'-the-wisp—also haunting—had the earlier poems in our selection ("Stud Groom" and "Noyade 1942") not seemed so vagarious. The lines I find most problematical are from the final quatrain:

    To find that end where other loves begin
    My love and yours must be enjoyed alone:

It's hard not to suppose that "end" and "begin" are in the same line just for the wit of it (given the "begin" is already there for the rhyme). Why not "To find the beginning where our loves must end" or other such variations?